Maybe the best of the series

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted DreamWorks Rating: G 95 minutes

While it doesn’t have the quality of the Pixar animated films, the Madagascar series does very well at the box office and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is good entertainment.

Stranded in Africa our band of wayward animals from the Central Park Zoo snorkels across the Mediterranean to France and joins a European circus. They become circus performers and it turns out they are so good as performers the circus gets a contract to appear in New York. But now that they’ve seen the world, their old Central Park zoo looks small and jaded. All the time they are being chased by a fanatical French animal control officer who wants the lion’s head for her wall.

All the old characters are back: Ben Stiller voices Alex the lion, Chris Rock the zebra, Jada Pinkett Smith the hippo and David Schwimmer the giraffe. Plus there are the penguins, lemurs and a whole new supporting cast voiced by the likes of Frances McDormand and Jessica Chastain.

The plot is a little thin but there’s a lot of energy and colour. The animation seems better than ever and the writing is improved. The variety of settings is nice and the French animal control officer (McDormand) an excellent villain. Assuming this is the end of the series (although boffo box office may mean #4) it would end on a high note; it’s the best of the series. And it does provide something the whole family can enjoy.

Rating: three deer out of five

New on Video

Drew Barrymore and a big cast save the whales in Big Miracle.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.